’We are not immune to any of the wider technology and digitisation forces that every industry is needing to address and face into,’ says chief executive

Direct Line Group chief executive Adam Winslow has said the insurer cutting costs is part of plans to create better experiences through more efficient digital processes.

The firm announced cost saving measures in its preliminary results yesterday (21 March 2024), with it having posted an operating loss of £189.5m during 2023.

It said that it saw a “significant opportunity” to remove at least £100m of costs by the end of 2025 on a run-rate annualised basis.

During a media briefing yesterday about the results, Winslow was asked if there would be any impact on headcount.

In response, he said the insurer was “not announcing anything on jobs” and that colleagues would be consulted over any changes in the business.

“We are not immune to any of the wider technology and digitisation forces that every industry is needing to address and face into,” Winslow said.

”But it is important that colleagues hear about these changes from me first before me saying more to the wider market.”

He added that his firm was focused on thinking about the future and trying to create better digital experiences.

“Our colleagues today are using a set of technologies that I think are difficult and we aren’t delivering the customer experience that I or they would always want,” he said.

“So, I hope we are going to deliver a better customer outcome and from a colleague perspective, focus them on the more complicated value tasks that improve their underlying job satisfaction.”

The plan

This came after the insurer conducted a review to identify opportunities across the value chain.

Further details of the new strategy are set to be provided in July.

Winslow said the themes that would underpin cost saving measures include technology and digitisation, as well as a simplification of the organisation.

When it came to simplification, the chief executive said that could refer to switching a legacy system off to simplify ways of working.

And when it came to digital, Winslow felt that customers wanted a choice of channels to communicate with the insurer and more efficient experiences online.

“We know our colleagues are frustrated about not being able to deliver those needs and support customers in a channel of their choosing,” he said.

“Ultimately, what we are trying to do, especially with technology and digitisation, is give customers what they need and what they are asking.

“Customers want an omnichannel experience, they want an app and they want to be able to pick and choose the channel that they interact with us on in the way they do with other industries and markets.

“So, we are simply here closing the gap to our competition and delivering, hopefully, a much better experience at a much lower unit cost.”